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Journal of the Indiana Academy of the Social Sciences

Document Type

Article

Abstract

This content analysis introduces a genre of film that paralleled the rise of conservatism in the United States (1979–1996). Based on the words of Hobbes, the films are perceived to represent the world in its natural state, absent the proper social and law enforcement authorities within existing civilized society. Prior literature on this topic and subject are examined, as are the real measures of criminal justice system breadth over this period, including crime, victimization, arrests, imprisonments, police staffing data, and information on dollars spent. The results of the content analysis reveal the cold, harsh, brutal, nasty, and short world of Hobbes, with murder the main method of conflict resolution and with police, courts, and prison systems noticeably absent. The crimes visualized in this sample are compared to the reality; the differences are as stark as the images of a Hobbesian world and leave the viewer thankful for the systems we do have after seeing what life would be like without them.

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